Pseudo-Secularism

Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Supreme Court’s judgement must be implemented

By J.G. Arora

For the last so many years, India has been a victim of terror. Apart from making Kashmir a Hindu-less region, Pakistan sponsored terrorists are attacking Indian security forces every day. India has lost more soldiers in fighting Pakistan’s ISI trained terrorists in Kashmir than it lost in 1965 or 1971 or 1999 (Kargil) wars with Pakistan.

But the most vexatious problem tormenting the nation today is that of Pakistan’s ISI, and its ally Bangladesh’s DGFI programmed demographic aggression, through which crores of Pakistani and Bangladeshi infiltrators have changed the demographic maps of many Indian states.

Fortunately for India, the Supreme Court’s judgement delivered on July 12, 2005 on the petition filed by the AASU leader Shri Sarbananda Sonowal has come to the nation’s rescue.

Before dwelling on the said judgement, let us peruse the problem of demographic invasion being faced by India.

Crores of Pak-Bangla infiltrators

Though India is a ‘secular republic’, successive governments have been following sectarian agenda and responding to infiltration of crores of Pak-Bangla nationals and consequent demographic invasion with denial, deception and inaction.

Assam shares about 300 km of border with Bangladesh, most of which is riverine and thus facilitates infiltration. Therefore, Assam has been one of the important gateways for Pak-Bangla infiltrators to enter India.

Instead of deporting infiltrators under the Foreigners Act, 1946, the Congress Government at the Centre enacted the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act, 1983 (hereinafter referred to as IMDT Act) which was applicable only to Assam. IMDT Act put the burden of proof on the complainant, and not on the infiltrator, and helped infiltrators to stay in India.

The Foreigners Act, 1946 is an all India Act with stringent provisions for deportation of any foreigner. As per Section 9 of the Foreigners Act, the onus of proving that a person is not a foreigner lies on that person. Besides, the Foreigners Act provides for imprisonment of infiltrators as also of their abettors. In short, Foreigners Act deters the infiltrator whereas IMDT Act is infiltrator friendly.

It is surprising that instead of invoking the Foreigners Act to punish and deport infiltrators, Congress Government enacted IMDT Act in 1983 which invited more infiltrators to swarm India.

Since the IMDT Act was helping the infiltrators to stay in India, AASU leader Shri Sarbananda Sonowal filed a petition in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the said Act.

India has never been as vulnerable as at present.

IMDT Act: ‘biggest hurdle to deportation’

On July 12, 2005, the Honourable Supreme Court delivered the judgement on Sarbananda Sonowal’s petition.

Vide its 114 page judgement, the three-judge Supreme Court Bench struck down the IMDT Act as unconstitutional, and held that the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunals) Act, 1983 “has created the biggest hurdle and is the main impediment or barrier in the identification and deportation of illegal migrants.”

The Supreme Court also held that “The presence of such a large number of illegal migrants from Bangladesh, which runs into millions, is in fact an aggression on the State of Assam and has also contributed significantly in causing serious internal disturbances in the shape of insurgency of alarming proportions.”

Besides, the Supreme Court observed that “It is the foremost duty of the Central Government to protect its borders and prevent trespass of foreign nationals.”

Besides, this judgement has pointed out, “The IMDT Act and the Rules clearly negate the constitutional mandate contained in Article 355 of the Constitution, where a duty has been cast upon the Union of India to protect every State against external aggression and internal disturbance. The IMDT Act, which contravenes Article 355 of the Constitution is, therefore, wholly unconstitutional and must be struck down.”

The judgement also directed that “the Bangladesh nationals who have illegally crossed the border and have trespassed into Assam or are living in other parts of the country have no legal right of any kind to remain in India and they are liable to be deported.”

Though the nationalists have welcomed the Supreme Court’s judgement, the beneficiaries of votes of infiltrators are not enthusiastic about deporting the infiltrators.

Though as per Article 141 of the Constitution of India, “The law declared by the Supreme Court shall be binding on all courts within the territory of India”, some sections apprehend that because of electoral considerations, the Congress-led Government may pass another law to nullify the Supreme Court’s above-mentioned judgement. These sections point out that even in 1986 to pacify Muslim uproar over the Supreme Court’s judgement reported as Mohd. Ahmed Khan v. Shah Bano Begum (AIR 1985 SC 945), the then Congress Government had passed the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act, 1986, and nullified the said judgement.

After the Supreme Court’s said judgement, Congress-led Central government has set up a group of ministers to consider infiltration related issues. Nevertheless, legislation to circumvent Supreme Court’s said judgement; or inaction to deport the infiltrators will spell disaster for India.

Daily demographic invasion

It may be recalled that Shri T.V. Rajeshwar, former Intelligence Bureau chief (and at present the Governor of Uttar Pradesh) in 1996 itself had cautioned against the emergence of one more Islamic country because of Bangladeshi infiltration. In 1998, General S.K. Sinha, the then Governor of Assam, also cautioned the Central government about Bangladeshi demographic invasion and disproportionate increase in Muslim population in the districts bordering Bangladesh.

Repeated and unheeded warnings given by Shri T.V. Rajeshwar and General S. K. Sinha have been fortified by the census figures of 2001.

Though as per the present Assam Governor, Lt. Gen. (Retd) Ajay Singh, about 6,000 Bangladeshis are illegally entering Assam every day, and though besides Assam, Pak-Bangla infiltrators are entering India through many more points on Indo-Pak and Indo-Bangla borders every day, Congress led Government has done nothing to deport the infiltrators.

Inaction by the Congress led Government is inspired by vote bank politics which is gradually ruining India. Instead of taking legal action against them and deporting them, infiltrators are being given voting rights.

Assam shares about 300 km of border with Bangladesh, most of which is riverine and thus facilitates infiltration. Therefore, Assam has been one of the important gateways for Pak-Bangla infiltrators to enter India.

No more denial and deception

Now that the Supreme Court’s judgement has come to the nation’s rescue, let no legislation be brought to override the said judgement.

Let infiltrators be treated as aggressors. And not as vote banks.

The Supreme Court has termed Bangladeshi infiltration in Assam as ‘external aggression’. Other parts of the country are also facing similar fate since after entering India from various points, Pak-Bangla infiltrators are fanning out and taking over the entire country. Let the Foreigners Act, 1946 be implemented all over India to deport the infiltrators. And the country freed of aggressors.

Let our borders be sealed and defended properly to stop aggressors from entering India.

Let there be no further denial and deception in confronting this aggression.

And let Pakistan-Bangladesh combine’s design to destroy India and plant one more Islamic country on Indian soil be defeated.

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